Last week, Adobe released version 10.1 of their Flash player plugin for both the Mac and Windows operating systems, which included a large number of security fixes. Much to the frustration of visually impaired users, the installer application, which had previously been accessible, was rendered inaccessible with screen readers on both operating systems. This, of course, means that many visually impaired users are stuck using an older version of the plugin, along with all its known vulnerabilities.
I can't pretend to know what's going on with Adobe that they're so tied to this installer monkey business. The accessibility issue above is just one symptom of larger trouble that serves to confuse those of us who -- admittedly -- think maybe-too-deeply about this stuff. Nonetheless, this is puzzling.
When you download an installer from Adobe, you get this fancy, flashy wrapper that comes up, and then calls the real installer which is buried in the thing you just downloaded. That hidden, real installer is everything you need to install the software on your Mac. Everything else is just cruft.
Think of it this way. The buried installer is the bar of soap you will use to wash yourself. The primary Adobe installer is the sock in which you will place the bar of soap so that you may more effectively beat yourself with it.